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Homework Help: About understanding things and solving problems

  1. Jul 16, 2013 #1
    Hello everyone,

    1- About understanding
    : i would like to know why sometimes it took me forever to understand a basic idea whether in science (maths, physics...) or in other fields, knowing that some people in my age already understood those things easily and quickly.

    2- About solving problems
    : why it is so hard for me to solve a problem which is very easy to others, i mean sometimes i spend weeks in resolving a mathematical problem or daily life problem, the only thing i know about my brain's functioning is when i want to solve a problem, it is like having many functions inside it (say : f1(x), f2(x)...f10(x) ) and whenever i wanna solve a problem , i try to find a combination between those functions and solve my problem, and sometimes i don't find any combination.

    my whole Point is : what separates others to me and others like me, have i been misguided? is there anything those people discover and i didn't?

    not to mention Trials and Errors method, i think it is a wrong idea, there is get it well in the very first time or never get it even Trying a thousand times, i have seen some people in my life, if you go back in time and gave them 1000 tries , they will never make it right, so Trials and Errors method doesn't work.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 17, 2013 #2


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    Homework Helper

    If there are a finite (definite) number of trials, it should take only finite time to try them all. Like reading a book, you start at page one, read the pages consecutively, and stop at the last page. It has to stop at some point. Like a person delivering newspapers, how do we know they eventually deliver to all the houses they need to? Because they deliver to the first one, then go on to the next, repeating each time until the street has been covered, then go on to the next street, etc, till all the streets are covered.

    This can only fail if there are too many trials to handle in the allowed time or if each trial is too difficult to complete many of them, or if one gets distracted. Which is it in your case? Were there too many trials, or just not enough time, or were the trials too difficult to do many of them, or did you get distracted?

    If you know which one it is, perhaps you can make changes.
  4. Jul 17, 2013 #3
    To really understand something you need to spend a lot of time pondering or messing around with it. So what "other" people mostly do is to find short cuts, which I guess is another form of intelligence. Only when you have advanced to a high level of education you find the time to really get to know or understand or become familiar with a topic. There a many cases in the scientific world where people only excelled at a later stage in their life. As long as you find the topic interesting you are on the right track.
  5. Jul 17, 2013 #4
    Skim through this. It doesn't only apply to physics but academia in general. It's titled "How to Study Physics" written just after world war two during the golden age of physics.
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